Essay on deciphering the written communication or writing system and script of the Harappan or Ancient Indus Valley Civilization, by Asko Parpola.
Many hypotheses have been put forward about the affinity of the Indus language, but only two alternatives have had wider support.
Indo-Aryan languages have been spoken in the area once occupied by the
In most of the unsuccessful attempts at interpreting the Indus script, the "method" has consisted of comparing other pictographic scripts and supposing that the Indus signs have been pronounced like
The early logo-syllabic scripts functioned like picture puzzles, based on the rebus principle. Each sign was originally a picture, denoting the object represented by it.
How, then, is it possible to decipher an unknown system of writing?
Generally recognized as the world's expert on the Indus script, Asko Parpola has been studying this undeciphered writing for over 40 years at the University of Helsinki in Finland.
Meeting the challenge of the Indus script
In 1920, excavations at Harappa brought to light the ruins of a large brick-laid city, and soon a whole unknown civilization was uncovered in and around the